Energy Security of Post-Soviet De Facto States: Challenges, Conflicts and Interdependence

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-12-116-126
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), Profsoyuznaya Str., 23, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 17.04.2023. Revised 03.07.2023. Accepted 19.07.2023.

Abstract. The article represents an effort to conceptualize energy security issues of the four post-Soviet de facto states: Republic of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, and Republic of South Ossetia. The author considers: relevant conceptual issues; the structure of post-Soviet de facto states’ energy consumption; the role of energy security issues in the context of post-Soviet de facto states’ relations of conflict and interdependence with their parent states; issues of development of these states’ energy sectors to enhance their energy security; societal and environmental aspects of de facto states’ energy security. The author concludes that the energy security agendas of these four polities are largely similar. Unlike major economies, they do not face a primary threat to their oil supplies, while the issue of supplying residential consumers with electricity and natural gas is of utmost importance to them. The energy security agenda plays an ambiguous role in the context of the relationships between these four de facto states and their parent states. In some cases, it exacerbates existing contradictions, while in other cases, it facilitates peaceful and constructive resolution. At present, the majority of post-Soviet de facto states are unable to fully meet their gas and electricity needs, with only Transnistria being capable of exporting electricity, provided that it receives a sufficient volume of gas from external sources. Energy problems play an ambiguous role in the conflicts between post-Soviet de facto states and their parent states. Sometimes the parties use these problems as leverage for pressure. However, in other cases, finding mutually acceptable solution for energy issues becomes an incentive for constructive cooperation. Sometimes parent states even bear the burden of debts and other expenses because they still claim sovereignty over their “breakaway territories”. Overall, due to extremely limited economic potentials and nonrecognition, post-Soviet de facto states have achieved, at best, limited results in safeguarding their energy security.

Keywords: energy security, de facto states, Republic of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Republic of South Ossetia


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For citation:
Golunov S. Energy Security of Post-Soviet De Facto States: Challenges, Conflicts and Interdependence. World Eсonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 116-126. EDN: SXTIHO

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